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Distance Coach Rallies Murrieta Valley Teams

October 11, 2003|John Ortega;Lauren Peterson

The Murrieta Valley cross-country teams received a pep talk from nationally known distance coach Joe Vigil on Thursday.

Vigil, who was Murrieta Valley assistant coach Tim Sall's coach at Adams State (Colo.) in the 1970s, is co-head coach of Team USA California, along with former UCLA mentor Bob Larsen.

Vigil stopped by the Murrieta Valley practice while heading from the Team USA California training site in Mammoth Lakes to the one in Chula Vista.

"It's a great thing for the kids," Murrieta Valley Coach Steve Chavez said. "To have one of the most respected distance coaches in the world talk to you is really something.

"You talk to Dr. Vigil for five minutes and it's incredibly inspirational. It's like talking to Coach [John] Wooden."

Natalie Picchetti is expected to make her debut for the Rancho Cucamonga girls' cross-country team in a meet against Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos on Oct. 15.

Picchetti, a senior transfer who finished 24th in the national championships for San Antonio Reagan last year, sustained a stress fracture above her ankle near the end of the summer.

John Ortega


The Santa Ana Foothill girls' tennis team is 9-1, including eight consecutive victories before dropping a 12-6 decision to Newport Harbor on Tuesday.

Sophomore Becky Duesler gives the Knights a solid No. 1 player, but she is also an excellent doubles player who won the Sea View League doubles title last year with teammate Jenna Colgrove.

Senior Ari Fahrney would typically play singles but, because of a season-long hip problem, has moved to No. 1 doubles, where she teams with senior Alaine Anderson. They have a 29-1 record.

"We're pretty solid all the way through," said second-year Coach Kerry Livingston, whose team includes eight seniors, including four with four years of varsity experience.

Livingston, 68, is a retired middle-school teacher who loves the substitution rule that allows players to be inserted into the lineup between sets. He carries 12 players on his roster, and they all nearly always play at least one set per match.

"You can get more kids involved that way," he said. "And that's really what it's all about."

-- Lauren Peterson

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